Hamels given five-game ban for Harper strike
Cole Hamels has been given a five-game suspension for the way he welcomed teen prodigy Bryce Harper to the MLB last week.
The 2008 World Series MVP was suspended for intentionally throwing at the Washington rookie in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 9-3 win over the Nationals on Sunday night.
Hamels wasn’t available to the media in the build up to the Phillies next game, but he has already admitted that he deliberately threw at Harper.
“I was trying to hit him,” the two-time All-Star lefty said Sunday night. “I’m not going to deny it. I’m not trying to injure the guy. They’re probably not going to like me for it, but I’m not going to say I wasn’t trying to do it. I think they understood the message, and they threw it right back. That’s the way, and I respect it.”
Hamels began serving his suspension Monday night. With Cliff Lee expected to come off the disabled list and start Wednesday, coupled with Thursday’s day off, Hamels really won’t miss a turn in the rotation.
Roy Halladay will likely pitch on regular rest Saturday and Hamels would then start Sunday against the San Diego Padres.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was disappointed the incident occurred.
“Obviously that’s not what we’re about,” Amaro said. “We’re not about trying to injure people. Things that happen in the game happen in the game. Those are parts of the game. But as far as how the Phillies want to conduct themselves, we try to take the high road on things. By no means are we condoning this. We fully support what the commissioner’s office has decided to do.”
Hamels plunked Harper in the small of the back with a fastball in the first inning. He said the purpose pitch was his old-school way of welcoming the 19-year-old Nationals phenomenon to the big leagues.
“That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it,” Hamels said.
“But I think unfortunately the league’s protecting certain players and making it not that old-school, prestigious way of baseball,” Hamels added.
Harper got the last word, though. When Hamels made a pickoff to first, Harper stole home for the first swipe of his eight-game big league career.
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